A strong cold front is tracking towards Virginia. Ahead of it, some strong disturbances will produce clusters of thunderstorms. The dynamics for severe weather will be best west of the mountains, where multiple tornadoes will be possible. Shortly after Noon Sunday, the previous Moderate Risk area was downgraded for parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and far southwest Virginia as a result of more consistent cloud-cover limiting instability potential.
However, the upper-level disturbance tracking through Kentucky toward our area this afternoon and evening will still be capable of triggering strong to severe thunderstorms. There is still an enhanced potential for tornadoes in the eastern half of Kentucky, southwest West Virginia, and the far southwestern tip of Virginia. That is also where the greater focus of damaging straight line winds and large hail will be.
Locally, our threat for severe storms increases from late afternoon into the evening. The best chance for severe storms will be between 6 p.m. and midnight. Our in-house forecast model continues to show a round of strong to potentially severe storms tracking southeast through central Virginia this evening. The latest data indicates all storms would exit out of our area between Midnight and 1 a.m.
The main severe threat will be for damaging winds (wind speeds near or above 60 mph) as a squall line crosses the state. While these “bowed” segments produce damaging winds, isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out. Any storm that does form will produce very heavy localized rainfall, frequent lightning, and may contain hail and gusts over 30 mph.
Severe weather will be largely dependent on a variety of factors, including the amount of sunshine and the location of remnants from this morning’s rainfall.
The storm threat will end around midnight, with only isolated showers or a thunderstorm overnight.
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